I’m thrilled to introduce you to Amy Eaton and Nancy Williams who are with the non-profit, Living Yoga. We shared a class with Amy and Nancy at Amrita: a sanctuary for yoga in Portland, Oregon. Living Yoga and Amrita were started by Sarajoy Marsh. Living Yoga is a non-profit outreach program teaching yoga in prisons, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, battered women’s shelters and for homeless youth. Living Yoga has been featured in a documentary, Yoga and the Tao of Service, produced by World Soul Music and Kirk Mann.
Sarajoy led our class which first began with her playing a harmonium and all of us singing. For those of you that may not be familiar with one, a harmonium belongs to the family of free-reed aerophones. It is a small, tabletop size organ with bellows at the back that is pumped by one hand while the other hand plays the keyboard. It contains multiple chambers inside with different banks of free reeds in each chamber. The size and shape of each reed in the bank determines its pitch. Engaging stops directs the airflow to various chambers. Each playing Key and each Drone controls the air through one or multiple reeds within a chamber. When engaged, Drones provide a continual harmony note and are played in union with the keyboard.
You can see the harmonium in the photo of Sarajoy – and also check out her dog, which slept through the whole class right behind her matt.
I am very inspired (yes, yet again) by Living Yoga. Some people say they are going to build a center that helps the community, Amrita is certainly doing it’s part in the Portland area and I am honored to share them with you.